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Simon Says "I Wasn't Listening. I'm Horrified!"

4/18/2007 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Simon CowellTMZ spoke with Simon Cowell this morning about last night's incident on "A.I.," in which Cowell sarcastically rolled his eyes after contestant Chris Richardson offered condolences to the families of the victims at Virginia Tech.

Cowell told TMZ, "I couldn't hear what Chris had said. I was talking to Paula. My reaction (rolling my eyes) was to what he had said previously, that singing nasally is a form of singing."

It's true, when the judges are off camera they frequently jab at each other as the singers do their thing.

Simon told TMZ he was shocked when he saw what went down: "When I watched the show back, I was horrified."

361 COMMENTS

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121.

uniformsformilitarypersonnelonly    

VERY POOR ATTEMPT AT COVERING YOUR DISPARAGING REMARKS SIMON. PATHETIC HOW A.I. PROTECTS YOUR HAIRY, BRITISH SMELLY ASS.

2684 days ago
122.

Ara    

So many people are just waiting to catch others in a mistake. That's exactly what that was. Simon also mentioned the tragedy and expressed his condolences.

2684 days ago
123.

Maddy    

I don't like Simon, but I doubt he was reacting to Chris's comments about the shootings.

I don't think Chris should have made any comments. He is one small part of the show and any comments should have been as a group or by one of the judges. Regardless of where he is from.

The charity event everyone is giving Ryan and Simon credit for was the decision of 19 and their related companies. Ryan and Simon are part of it, but I certanly don't give them credit for the idea.The money is being provided by State Farm and others. AI will get the ratings. The performers (for the most part) are not involved in charity work and will be there to promote their music. I'm glad they will be raising money, but I will continue to donate thru UNICEF as I have for years.

2684 days ago
124.

GetReal    

Good Lord, all this controversy over an eye roll. When I saw it happen, I immediately thought it was in regards to Chris saying that "nasally" was a way of singing. I also immediately turned to my friend and said "Watch, everyone is going to jump all over and make a big deal, blaming Simon for something he didn't do". Unfortunately, I was correct. Simon can make some nasty comments (and admit it, they're usually right!), but he's not an ogre. I don't think it's fair to malign him the way some are. Get a grip.

2684 days ago
125.

WildKAT    

I do not like Simon under any circumstances, but I do not think his eye rolling had anything to do with the V.T. shout out by the talentless Chris Richardson. It was clear to me at least that Simon was overreacting as usual, and his overreaction was to the "nasal singing" technique comment by Chris which was both silly and indefensible. Only the worst singers or wannabes sing through their noses.

What I truly dislike about Simon is his undisguised cruelty. He eats up the souls of these kids who are just trying to have some fun and are doing the best they can at their level of development. Most of them have zero vocal training, and that should be understood even by the most dimwitted viewer when you watch the show. To deliberately, viciously and with great cruelty demean these contestants such as Sanjaya is unpardonable and despicable. Does anyone remember how Simon attacked Clay Aiken and look how successful that artist became? It is a time for a change in the judges. Apart from Sanjaya livening up the show, the judges and contestants are imitative, stale and as boring.

If you want to hear flawless singing buy a Josh Groban CD and toss the other garbage that otherwise currently passes for "singing" talent on the charts.

2684 days ago
126.

Grace    

ENOUGH ALREADY. Don't people have anything else to do then make a big deal out of everything people say or do. The slightest thing said or an expression made is being taken out of context and blown out of proportion. Do you always have to think the worse. Can 't you ever give a person the benefit of the doubt that you are taking it the wrong way, that it wasn't meant in a disrespectful manner. Why don't we all just sit like good little children, not move, no expressions, no words, perfectly quiet and still that way no one can say we're being disrespectful. What a perfect world this would be - boring.

2684 days ago
127.

Mattie    

Give me a break. No way, even Simon, anyone would roll their eyes under those circumstances. Some people dislikeSimon so much theywould believe anything bad about him.

2684 days ago
128.

Uuummm    

OMG!! People seriously! Have any of you been in an auditorium such as the one they film AI in??? It is so loud in there! With the audience boo-ing him for the comments he made about Chris (which were true) Simon couldn't hear anything! You forget that when you are watching it on tv they are only feeding the sound from the separate mics...in this case Chris' and Ryan's. The tv audience doesn't hear the "roar" of the crowd that Simon and the judges hear. Use your brains, people. Or better yet attend a taping so that you can make educated comments.

2684 days ago
129.

Puh-lease    

SIMON IS GUILTY!!!!

It is TOTALLY OBVIOUS that he was responding w/rolling his eyes. Not to mention his OVER REACTION in his damage control. Nice try but it's NOT WORKING.

2684 days ago
130.

Nancy    

This video really doesn't show exactly what happened. Simon's reaction was to Chris' comments, just after he had criticized his nasal singing. I think Simon felt for a second Chris may have taken advantage of the forum just after a bad review to use the Va Tech incident as a little plug for votes. He does that a lot. He once said Sundance was crying when someone got voted off just for votes. I happen to like Simon, and think his reaction may have been taken out of context.

2684 days ago
131.

Lee    

Sorry, but it's too obvious his rolling his eyes was to Chris' bringing the tragedy up during his critique and before his number was offered. Total Simon cynicism, but because it read wrong and he didn't want to seem as accusatory of Chris as he was nastily of Haley last week, he's apologizing.

2684 days ago
132.

Simon Feels Bad    

I WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP THINKING THERE IS SOME MOTIVE. SIMON DID THIS, FOR,THIS BECAUSE. AND CHRIS MADE COMMENTS ABOUT IT FOR VOTES................C'MON PEOPLE. WE STILL HAVE HEARTS AND FEELINGS.
GOOD LORD!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2684 days ago
133.

Deana    

I think Simon is the bomb!!!!!! Everybody needs to leave him alone. If anybody needs to apologize it is Sanjaya for RUINING the show every week!!!!!!! You are the MAN Simon.

2684 days ago
134.

birch    

People just like to find excuses to bash Simon. Personally, I think he is the most honest of the judges. He tells it like it is and that is admirable. As far as Sanjaya goes, he is disgusting. He smiles like a chessire cat, looks horrible, and his performance last night was the absolute worst. If he makes the final two, I'm done with American Idol forever.

2684 days ago
135.

Malteselover    

I like Simon also & think he was reacting to Chris arguing with him about his performance.

2684 days ago
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